Xavier-DePaul Preview

BY foxsports • January 29, 2016

Balanced production has been a calling card for Xavier's success, though Trevon Bluiett's performance might have been enough in the first meeting with DePaul.

The Blue Demons haven't had an answer for Bluiett over the past two seasons. He'll try to keep giving them trouble Saturday when No. 7 Xavier looks to inch closer to the top of the Big East by extending its longest road winning streak in five years.

Bluiett spent a lot of time on his shooting touch ahead of a home date with DePaul on Jan. 12 after missing 13 of 15 from 3-point range in his previous three games.

The extra work paid off as the sophomore guard finished with a career-best 24 points and matched a career high with five 3-pointers in an 84-64 victory. Including that performance, he's averaged 18 points and knocked down 15 3s over his last five games.

Bluiett has routinely been able to get going against the Blue Demons (7-13, 1-7), scoring 21.3 per game while hitting 10 of 24 from beyond the arc in three career meetings.

He currently leads four Musketeers averaging double figures with 15.4 points, while James Farr heads a solid bench with 10.8 points and a team-high 9.1 rebounds. Farr had 11 and eight Tuesday when Xavier outscored Providence's reserves 25-10 in a 75-68 road win.

The Musketeers (18-2, 6-2) rank second in the Big East with 27.3 bench points per game and third with a 35.9 3-point percentage, while the Blue Demons are sixth in bench points with 20.8 and sit ninth in the 10-team league by allowing opponents to shoot 35.5 percent from beyond the arc.

"(The Musketeers) have a half-dozen guys who can make a major impact and put their fingerprints on the game," DePaul coach Dave Leitao said.

Jalen Reynolds stepped up with 15 points and 11 rebounds Tuesday in Xavier's first road win over a top-10 team in 20 years. Myles Davis scored 13 with seven assists, but Edmond Sumner will have to regroup after finishing with one point on 0-of-9 shooting.

Sumner missed the first meeting after suffering a concussion in a 95-64 loss at Villanova on Dec. 31. Xavier now hopes to get within a half game of the Wildcats with its first four-game road winning streak since a five-game run in 2010-11.

"I think our team has played with maturity in those tough moments that you're always going to have on the road," coach Chris Mack said. "We've never splintered.

"I don't have any doubt that our team will be ready to play."

Myke Henry led DePaul with 16 points and eight boards in Cincinnati. He's averaged 16.8 points in his last six games but had 12 in Wednesday's 67-53 loss at No. 18 Butler.

Billy Garrett Jr., who had six points in the team's 10th loss in 12 games, totaled 11 on 3-of-11 shooting in DePaul's last two losses to the Musketeers by a combined 33. He had a 15-point, 10-assist performance in a 71-68 win Jan. 3, 2015, in the most recent home meeting.

DePaul has slumped offensively, averaging 55 points in its last two games, and it now heads home looking to avoid a fourth straight loss at Allstate Arena.

The Blue Demons haven't beaten a top-10 opponent since a 64-57 win over No. 5 Kansas on Dec. 2, 2006.

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